Living Seaside

One resident objected to Craig Malin’s housing stipend, calling it a “boatload of money” during the public comment period.

After nearly four years on the job, the city manager of Seaside is moving to Seaside.

“I am moving from the Fortress of Solitude,” Craig Malin writes in email – referring to his accessory dwelling unit in Carmel Valley – “to the Onegalow,” a house on Kenneth Street in Seaside.

Malin’s move is part of a revised employment contract approved by City Council on Dec. 5. In addition to his salary, the city will pay Malin a monthly housing stipend of $2,100 in 2020 and $2,500 in 2021. He will also receive about $9,100 up front, which is the remaining balance of the relocation stipend the city agreed to pay him when he was hired in 2016.

“I have seen good progress in the city and I attribute a significant amount of that to the city manager and his leadership,” Council Member Jason Campbell said before joining the unanimous vote in favor of the new contract.

Malin’s annual salary is $212,688, which is about equal to what other city managers on the Monterey Peninsula make. The sum could have been much higher but Malin has never accepted a raise from the city even though he has been legally entitled to an annual increase of 2-2.5 percent. The new housing stipend, council members noted, is less than what the raises would have totaled.

“Everyone who works gets raises and the city manager isn’t asking for one,” Council Member Alissa Kispersky said.

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Paying a stipend instead of more in salary saves the city money on future public pension liability, which Mayor Ian Oglesby said was an area of concern.

Malin adds that he now lives surrounded by tools and that he is in the “furniture building phase” of his move.

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Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers higher education, the military, the environment, public lands and the geographic areas of Seaside, Monterey, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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